Ornate Ghost Pipefish

Ornate Ghost Pipefish

Solenostomus Paradoxus
ornate Ghost Pipefish



Solenostomus paradoxus


The ornate ghost pipefish is not threatened at the moment.



Life Span:


From 1.5cm to over 60cm long.
From Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean and around the Red Sea, the Maldives, Indonesia, southern Japan, the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, off the east coast of Africa and also off the east coast of Australia.
Longevity is estimated at 3 years.
Very common in saltwater aquariums.

Ornate Ghost PipefishOrnate Ghost Pipefish by Gerald Robert Fischer | Shutterstock

About the Ornate Ghost Pipefish

The ornate ghost pipefish is probably the most well known, and certainly the favorite, of all pipefish, and for good reason. 

It is very unique looking, with its epic camouflage, and a critter hunter’s dream to film! 

In the wild they are born transparent, and then drift along in the current until finding a home with a feathered seastar. Once it has it’s home, it’s color changes to perfectly match it.  

Conservation status

Its hard to say what real numbers are in the wild, but they are not on any endangered list as of now. They are however semi hard to find, and only live in a handful of countries. I would put their numbers at around the same rarity of a hairy frogfish or a zebra urchin crab.

Of course the threat of habitat loss and warming oceans is always a threat, but let’s just be happy that this guy is not in immediate danger, like some are. 


The ornate ghost pipe comes in a variety of colors, just like it’s relatives, but is also unique in its textures and hair-like parts that help mimics the seastars.  Their colors morph at very young ages, to exactly match their habitat, and so there are as many variations as there are in the crinoid family. 


The ornate can range all the way from Egypt to the Solomon Islands, and everywhere in between. They are probably most prevalent in Indonesia and Philippines

Join the team!

Want to be a contributor? We are always in need of photos, specifically of rare species. Send us an email, and you can get your own contributor profile page on this site, while at the same time helping us educate the world about our wonderful marine critters! Hit us up at justin@artofscubadiving.com

It’s not just pipefish photos and information we are after either. Check out our whole species directory to see what we have so far, but also keep in mind that we are adding more and more each month! So let us know what you specialize in, or how you can contribute, and we will make you a part of the team! 

More Pipefish Species to know

Other Marine Species in our Directory